Abstract/Session Information for Program Number 311
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Session Information
Session Title: Plenary Session 4   Session Type: Plenary
Session Location: Royce Hall   Session Time: WED June 29, 2005 09:00AM - 12:00NOON
Abstract Information
Program Number: 311   Presentation Time: 09:00AM
Keywords: KW01 - Aging
Abstract Content
Stochastic Effects Make a Big Difference in How Long You Will Live (If You Are a Worm). Thomas E. Johnson, Shane Rea, Deqing Wu, Jim Cypser. Inst Behavioral Genetics, Univ Colorado, Boulder, CO.

   The record for life extension is more than seven-fold and is held by the vanFleteren lab using a combination of environmental intervention (axenic survival medium) and genetic alteration (daf-2 hypomorph). However, neither genes nor environment account for the huge variation in life span typically found within almost every longevity study performed in worms over the last 25 years. This variation is due to chance effects and is largely intractable. We have begun to address this issue using an HSP-16::GFP reporter strain and a Union Biometrica worm sorter. We grow this isogenic strain under liquid culture conditions to minimize environmental variance and induce it using one or two hours of heat. We monitor GFP expression in tens of thousands of individual worms several hours later. We see a huge amount of variance that is entirely non-genetic. When we select the brightest and the dimmest 1 - 2 % of the population, we find that these worms form two distinct groups with regard to life expectancy and ability to survive additional heat stresses. Other differential effects, as well as causal mechanisms are being sought.
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